4 years full time, 6 years part time
Choose to start in September 2017, January 2018 or May 2018

Development Studies (Global Studies)

Join our lively community of doctoral researchers and address some of the most important current issues in international development.

You’ll work with a range of experts from across the natural and social sciences whose cutting-edge original research has made a significant impact on individuals, institutions and societies around the world. Our other research interests are in fields such as:

  • environmental management
  • human rights
  • migration and poverty
  • gender and development
  • corporate social responsibility. 

Areas of study

PhD or MPhil?

You can choose to study for a PhD or an MPhil. PhD and MPhil degrees differ in the length of the course and therefore in the extent of the research work you can undertake and incorporate in your thesis.

  • An MPhil typically takes three years full time and four years part time. You’ll conduct an independent piece of research but in less depth than for a PhD. You will graduate with the degree title Master of Philosophy.
  • A PhD typically takes four years full time and six years part time. You will undertake a piece of research that makes a substantial original contribution to knowledge or understanding in your chosen field.

If you choose an MPhil, you might be able to change to a PhD during the course of your studies.

How to apply

If you’d like to join us as a research student, there are two main routes:

Find out how to apply for a PhD at Sussex

Full-time and part-time study

Choose to work on your research full time or part time, to fit around your work and family life. For details about part-time study, contact us at


Explore our research interests and find a potential supervisor.

  • Faculty profiles

    Dr Andreas Antoniades
    Senior Lecturer

    Research interests: debt, discourse theory, Emerging Markets, emerging powers, european political economy, eurozone, Everyday Life, global economic crisis, globalisation, Greece, hegemony, International political economy, Ireland, Michel Foucault, varieties of capitalism

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    Dr Paul Boyce
    Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and Inteal Development

    Research interests: Anthropology and Queer Theory in India, Anthropology of Sexualities, Anthropology of the Body, Applied Anthropology, Bioavailability, HIV prevention research, International Development, Intimacy, Male and Transgender Sex Work, Male Sex work in SE Africa, Psycho-social and Psychoanalytic perspectives in Anthropology, Queer and Transgender Representation, Queer Theory, Sexual and gendered subjectivities, Sexuality and Law in Nepal, Visual Anthropology and Media

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    Dr Grace Carswell
    Reader in Human Geography

    Research interests: Land Use

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    Dr Lara Montesinos Coleman
    Senior Lecturer in International Relations and International Development

    Research interests: Continental Philosophy, corporate social responsibility, Critical Legal Theory, Critical Theory and Marxism, Ethics, Gender Studies, Human Rights, International Business and Human Rights, Labour & trade union politics, Michel Foucault, Philosophy of Science, Postcolonial/Decolonial theory, Resistance (political), Sociology of knowledge

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    Prof Andrea Cornwall
    Professor of Anthropology and International Development

    Research interests: Brazil, democratisation, Empowerment, gender and development, Gender and Sexuality, Nigeria, participation, public engagement, Public health

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    Dr Vinita Damodaran
    Professor of South Asian History

    Research interests: Climate change, Energy, environmental history, Global history, indigenous peoples, Mining, South Asian history

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    Dr Geert De Neve
    Professor of Social Anthropology & SouthAsian Studies

    Research interests: Anthropology of Development, anthropology of South Asia, Anthropology of the Global Economy, Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethical Trade, India, Poverty and inequality, Social Protection, Social transformation, Tamil Nadu

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    Dr Nigel Eltringham
    Senior Lecturer in Anthropology

    Research interests: Africa, Conflict and violence, ethnicity, Film, Genocide, Human Rights, international criminal court, International Criminal Law, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, Political violence, Post conflict reconstruction, Rwanda, Transitional justice

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    Dr Sonja Fagernas
    Senior Lecturer in Economics

    Research interests: Development Economics, Economics of Education, Law and economics, public policy

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    Prof James Fairhead
    Professor of Social Anthropology

    Research interests: Ebola, Environmental Anthropology, Green Economy, Health, Historical Anthropology, International Development, New Guinea, West Africa

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    Dr Anne-Meike Fechter
    Reader in Anthropology

    Research interests: Aid, Aid Workers, Cambodia, childhood and youth, Development, Expatriates, gender, Indonesia, Migration, Mobility, Morality and Ethics, southeast asia, Transnationalism

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    Dr Earl Gammon
    Lecturer in Global Political Economy

    Research interests: Political-economic behaviour

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    Prof Elizabeth Harrison
    Professor of Anthropology and International Development

    Research interests: Anthropology and ethnography, Anti-corruption, community, gender, International Development, Irrigation, Moralities, Natural Resource Management, Participation and engagement, Political anthropology, Sub-Saharan Africa, United Kingdom

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    Dr Pamela Kea
    Senior Lecturer In Anthropology

    Research interests: Anthropology of West Africa, Asylum and FGM, childhood and youth, Decolonial critique and the arts, Feminist theory, gender, Home-making practices, Intimacy and transnational kinship relations, Migration and Mobility, Postcolonial/Decolonial theory, race and ethnicity, The aesthetics of migration, The household moral economy, Transnational networks and subjectivities, Visual and Material Culture

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    Dr Evan Killick
    Senior Lecturer in Anthropology and International Development

    Research interests: Amazonia, Climate & Climate Change, Conservation, Development studies, ethnography, Friendship, indigenous peoples, International Development, Kinship, Latin America, REDD

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    Prof Dominic Kniveton
    Professor of Climate Science & Society

    Research interests: Africa, Climate change, Development, Migration, South Asia

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    Dr Mark Leopold
    Lecturer in Social Anthropology

    Research interests: Anthropology and espionage, Anthropology and Literature, Biography, Borders, Conflict and violence, Embodiment, Forced migration, History, History of Anthropology, Masculinities, north east Africa, Peacemaking, Political anthropology, psychoanalysis, South Sudan, Uganda

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    Prof Alan Lester
    Professor of Historical Geography

    Research interests: apartheid, British Empire, Colonialism, Humanitarianism, indigenous peoples, Settler Colonies

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    Dr Julie Litchfield
    Senior Lecturer in Economics

    Research interests: Applied Economics, Conflict and violence, Development Economics, Migration, Poverty

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    Dr Peter Luetchford
    Senior Lecturer in Anthropology

    Research interests: Coffee producers and cooperatives, Economic anthropology, ethical consumption, food politics, Latin America, Organic farming, Political anthropology, Spain, The moral economy

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    Dr Kamran Matin
    Senior Lecturer

    Research interests: Diplomacy & International Relations, Eurocentrism, International historical sociology, International theory, Iranian Studies, Kurdish Studies, Marxism, Middle East and African history, Nationalism, political Islam

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    Prof JoAnn McGregor
    Professor Of Human Geography

    Research interests: African diasporas, Conflict and violence, Development studies, Migration, Refugees and asylum, Southern Africa social history, Ur

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    Dr Lyndsay Mclean Hilker
    Lecturer in Anthropology and International Development

    Research interests: Africa, Anthropology and ethnography, Anthropology of Development, Development Practice, DRC, ethnicity, Gender and Sexuality, gender-based violence, identity-based conflict, reconciliation, Rwanda, Social transformation, Violence, youth and violence

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    Prof Peter Newell
    Professor of International Relations

    Research interests: Climate change, Energy, Finance

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    Dr David Ockwell
    Reader in Geography

    Research interests: Climate change, Climate change mitigation, climate policy, Energy, Energy and climate policy, energy policy, Energy transitions, Innovation Policy, International Development, Sustainable energy production

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    Dr Ceri Oeppen
    Lecturer In Human Geography

    Research interests: Afghan diaspora, Afghanistan, Development studies, Human Geography, Migration, Multiculturalism, Peace and conflict, Politics of asylum and migration, Refugee Studies, Social and cultural geographies of migration

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    Prof Filippo Osella
    Professor Of Anthropology And South Asian Studies

    Research interests: anthropology of gender and masculinity, anthropology of Islam and Hinduism, anthropology of migration, anthropology of South Asia, anthropology of trade and entrepreneurship, charity & philanthropy, Economic anthropology, India, Pakistan, Persian/Arab Gulf GCC countries, Sri Lanka

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    Dr Fabio Petito
    Senior Lecturer in International Relations

    Research interests: civilizational analysis, comparative political theory, Contemporary Religion, Geopolitics, Italian Studies, Mediterranean Politics, religion and international relations

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    Dr Rebecca Prentice
    Senior Lecturer in Anthropology

    Research interests: Development studies, Economic anthropology, Embodiment, Ethnographic Methods, Garment industry, gender, Health, Health and Safety, Human Rights, Labour relations, labour rights, medical anthropology, Neoliberal subjectivities, precariousness, Skill and craft, West Indies

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    Dr Dinah Rajak
    Reader in Anthropology and International Development

    Research interests: anthropology of global capitalism, Anthropology of markets, Bottom of the pyramid enterprise, Conflict and resources, Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethical Trade, Economic anthropology, Entrepreneurship, HIV/Aids, mining and extractive industries, Moral economies, private sector development, South and Southern Africa, Transnational corporations

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    Prof Clionadh Raleigh
    Professor Of Human Geography

    Research interests: Political geography

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    Prof Ben Rogaly
    Professor of Human Geography

    Research interests: class, community, employment in agriculture and food, Identity, labour geography, migration studies, place, race and racism, social geography, work migration

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    Dr Pedram Rowhani
    Senior Lecturer in Geography

    Research interests: Climate Impact, Food Security, GIS Mapping, Land Cover Change, Land Use Change, Remote Sensing & Earth Observation

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    Dr Anke Schwittay
    Senior Lecturer in Anthropology & International Development

    Research interests: digital development, financial inclusion, humanitarian design, microfinance tourism, online microfinance, representations of development

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    Prof Jan Selby
    Professor of International Relations

    Research interests: environmental security, Israel-Palestine, Peace processes

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    Prof Benjamin Selwyn
    Professor of International Relations and International Development

    Research interests: Theories of development

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    Prof Paul Statham
    Professor of Migration

    Research interests: ageing care and migration, Comparative Studies, Domestic Politics of European Integration, Immigration, Islam, Media & Communication Studies, Multiculturalism, Public sphere theory, Social movements, Sociology

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    Dr Anna Stavrianakis
    Senior Lecturer in International Relations

    Research interests: arms control, arms trade, militarisation, militarism, War and violence in international politics

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    Prof Maya Unnithan
    Professor Of Social And Medical Anthropology

    Research interests: caste and kinship, childbirth and infertility, gender and development, health and migration, human rights and reproductive health, maternal health inequalities, reproductive technologies, Social anthropology

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    Prof Rorden Wilkinson
    Professor of Global Political Economy

    Research interests: Development, Global Governance, International Relations, World trade

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Entry requirements

A Masters degree in any relevant social science. In exceptional circumstances, candidates with other backgrounds may be considered. Applicants must submit an outline research proposal of two to three pages indicating the nature, ambitions and primary questions of the project. Applicants for the PhD in Development Studies (IDS) must have substantial professional work experience in a developing country or in development- related work

Research training

If you’re applying for ESRC funding, you might need to do a Masters first. Find out about our Social Research Methods MSc.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each section.

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English language support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our PhD degrees.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa

Scholarships and fees

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters Loan

MPhil students might be eligible for a Postgraduate Masters Loan. This is not available for students registering for a PhD.


Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Part-time work

We advertise around 2,500 part-time jobs a year so you can make money and gain work experience. We have a special scheme to employ students on campus, wherever possible.

Find out more about careers and employability

How much does it cost?

Fees for self-funding students

Home: £4,195 per year

EU: £4,195 per year

Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £4,195 per year

Overseas: £15,100 per year

Our fees follow the indicative fee level set nationally by Research Council UK and may be subject to change.